Sharp increase in completions required to meet Scotland’s affordable housing target
Just over 50% of the Scottish Government’s overall affordable housing target had been met by the end of 2018/19 with the figure rising to 61% in terms of approvals, according to the 2019 UK Housing Review Autumn Briefing Paper from the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
The report, published today, highlights progress towards meeting the Scottish Government’s target to deliver 50,000 affordable homes over five years to 2021, 35,000 of which should be for social rent.
It said that a sharp increase in completions will be required to meet the target by 2021 but this will be supported by planned funding allocations towards the end of the programme.
The report also warns of the potential implications of Brexit uncertainty and the complexity being created in terms of immigration status affecting people’s entitlement to certain types of support.
Callum Chomczuk, director of CIH Scotland, said: “While we are pleased that the Scottish Government’s commitment to affordable housing supply is providing good quality homes across the whole of Scotland, we have deep concerns about future funding arrangements.
“The 50,000 homes target represented a significant increase in funding for new homes and as we can see from the figures, it has taken the sector several years to build up the capacity to deliver homes in the volume that we need.”
Mr Chomczuk added: “We have had no indication of what funding levels will be after next year and there’s a danger that social landlords will simply have to stop building. Skilled staff will leave the sector and we will end up back where we started.
“The 50,000 homes target is just beginning to make up for loss of affordable homes through right to buy and planned demolitions of old stock that was no longer fit for purpose.
“If we are serious about increasing affordable housing in Scotland, to end homelessness, improve health and wellbeing and reduce poverty and inequality, we need a long-term plan for delivery backed by funding.”